Hydro important to Reclamation's sustainable energy strategic plan
The U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Reclamation has released a sustainable energy strategic plan that includes hydroelectric power as a means of increasing the western U.S.' power supply.
The agency said it has identified six long-term strategic objectives:
- Increasing renewable generation from Reclamation projects;
- Facilitating non-federal development of renewable energy projects;
- Increasing energy savings and conservation at Reclamation projects;
- Supporting the integration of variable non-dispatchable resources in the U.S. electrical grid;
- Increasing renewable energy benefits through technological innovation; and
- Improving management efficiencies related to the implementation of renewable energy and energy savings projects.
Plan implementation has begun, Reclamation said, while the agency continues to work with power customers, power marketing administrations and other stakeholders. Activities under way include:
- Engaging in generator updates and replacing turbines to support overall unit efficiency and increased generation;
- Issuing a new Lease of Power Privilege directive and standard and streamlining the process for non-federal hydropower development; and
- Identifying facilities and lands that are candidates for renewable development.
The plan is available for viewing at www.usbr.gov/power.
FERC, California complete pact on pre-licensing cooperation
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and California Water Resources Control Board have completed a memorandum of understanding to coordinate pre-application activities for proposed FERC-licensed hydropower projects.
The agreement applies to conventional and pumped-storage projects to be licensed by FERC. FERC and California signed an MOU in 2010 to coordinate review of hydrokinetic energy projects in state waters of California.
The purpose of the current memorandum is to coordinate procedures and schedules before FERC's review of hydropower license applications in California and the California board's review of water quality certification applications necessary for FERC licensing of a project.
"The goal is to coordinate these pre-application activities, ultimately leading, to the extent possible, to issuance of environmental documents that satisfy the legal requirements of National Environmental Policy Act and California Environmental Quality Act and otherwise meet the commission's and the state water board's needs," the MOU said.
The memorandum lists pre-application activities as consultation, environmental scoping, study planning, and submittal of and commenting on a preliminary licensing proposal. It applies to procedures under FERC's integrated, traditional and alternative licensing processes. The MOU calls for FERC and the California board to adhere to deadlines of FERC's ILP and to develop a mutually agreeable schedule for the other two processes. In addition, the state water board is to participate in the FERC environmental scoping process.
Both agencies agreed to participate in study plan development and to attempt to identify projects where a single environmental document could satisfy the environmental policy requirements of the federal and state governments. Both agencies agreed the environmental baseline for a project would be the current state of the environment, including any existing project facilities.
The MOU is at www.ferc.gov/legal/mou/mou-caswb-11-2013.pdf.
Unit at Barkley operating again after stator winding repair
A 32.5-MW turbine-generator unit at the 130-MW Barkley plant is now operating following repairs to generator stator windings that were damaged by a fire in December 2010. The information presented here was taken from a story written by Fred Tucker, public affairs specialist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The facility is on the Cumberland River in Kentucky and is owned and operated by the Corps. Unit 1 was placed on line in 1966. The repair cost $11.5 million and began in August 2012.
National Electric Coil of Columbus, Ohio, performed the repair work, which involved removing the generator and disassembling it for inspection. The fire was determined to be caused by a phase-to-ground fault in the stator.
Twenty-three field poles were removed, shipped to National Electric Coil's facility, refurbished and reinstalled, says Jamie James, Nashville District project manager. NEC also manufactured and installed core laminations and stator coils.
The unit was returned to service in November 2013. It will be tested in spring 2014 to check stator irons, coils, alignments, proper lubrication, and for anything out of the ordinary, says Jamie Holt, Barkley power plant specialist.
Barkley is being included in a technical tour offered at HydroVision International 2014. Barkley, along with the Tennessee Valley Authority's 184-MW Kentucky Dam project, are the destinations for the Land Between the Lakes Tour on Monday, July 21.
Under the new Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved exclusion of two proposed small conduit projects from its jurisdiction, 65-kW Little Sand Creek in Idaho and 17-kW Nelson Street in Vermont. FERC also has given preliminary approval to exclude 14 more and rejected one application.